Hari Parbat is a mighty hill standing tall in the state of Jammu and Kashmir, overlooking the gorgeous city of Srinagar. The combination of beauty and heritage is the reason enough to visit this mesmerizing site o Hari Parbat. Presence of picturesque beauty is sort of a give when we talk of Jammu & Kashmir. Other than scenic views there is a lot of history hidden in its different parts. Hari Parbat is a historic city and its story goes all the way back to Puranic period.
Srinagar has been loved and admired for many centuries. One of the biggest empires of medieval times the Mughal empire and its rulers were fond of this place that is why they named it Sehr e Khas meaning the special city.
There is a lot that makes this city special. But in this blog, we will take you on a trip to Hari Parbat and make you familiar with the historical gems of this place.
History of Hari Parbat:
Hindu mythological stories dating back to puranic period talk about making of many things and places. There is one such mythological legend related to Hari Parbat which holds an interesting account on how Hari Parbat came to existence.
It is said that thousands and thousands of years back Sri Nagar was a giant lake. A demon called Jalodabava lived inside this lake. This demon used to trouble the locals a lot. Helpless locals requested Goddess Sharika to help them.
Goddess decided to rescue the people from the torture and horror of this demon. The Goddess took the form Myna bird, grabbed a little rock in her mouth and started flying over the lake looking for the demon. Upon finding the demon she dropped the rock on this demon. As the rock fell on this demon it started to increase its size, as the size of this rock increased to that hill, the demon was killed and was buried under the hill. This today that hill is called Hari Parbat.
There are many places to explore at Hari Parbat primary attractions of this place include Sharika Temple, Kalai and Kathi Darwaza, Durrani Fort, Muslim Shrine, Gurdwara Chatti Patshahi
There is a temple dedicated to Goddess Sharika in this area this is held in very high regard by Hindu devotees especially Kashmiri Pandits. Sharika Devi is the presiding deity and highly revered Goddess of the city of Srinagar. It is believed that the Goddess is protector of Srinagar.
Ramparts of Nager Nagar (Kalai and Kathi Darwaza)
Mughal Emperor Akbar was also fond of Kashmir. When he visited Hari Parbat in 1597, he ordered his men to build a wall around Hari Parbat. The construction started during the reign of Akbar and was completed during the reign of Jahangir. Today, this area which is surround by wall is called Kalai Andar.
Following Akbar’s order, 10-meter-high walls called Kalai in local language was built around the city. There are several gates built in this wall. The walls and gates are still intact, one can find these in parts of the city. The main gate which is called Kathi Darwaza, you will see inscriptions in the Persian language that give details of this Kalai or wall. The inscription on this gate mentions that this wall was built by the greatest Mughal Emperor, Akbar.
It is said that the cost of building this mammoth rampart was about 1.1 cr all of its cost was borne from the royal treasure of Akbar. It took about 200 workers to build this wall.
The city within these walls was called Nager Nagar. The residents of this city were Mughal army and Mughal officials. It is said that during the Mughal era this place was adorned with stunning palaces, mosques, gardens and much more. In the present time, we do not see much of it here. As of today, we find very few of these structure at this location. Such as a Masjid that was built by Mughal Prince in honour of his teacher.
Although called Akbar’s fort, this fort, however, was not built by emperor Akbar. This fort was built by Afghan rulers in the year 1808 under the leadership of Governor Atta Mohammad Khan. Durrani Fort is situated on top of Sharika hill. As the fort is situated on top of the hill it makes it a great strategic point or for keeping an eye on the entire city. This fort was mainly used as an army base by Afghans.
Although the fort did not exist in Mughal times. It is however speculated that a watch tower might have been built and used by Mughal army to keep and eye on the area.
During the course of time Durrani fort was taken over by different rulers. Many rulers came and went, one thing that remained constant was that up till 1947 this fort continued to be used as a military base by different rulers for their armies.
In 1818 Kashmir was attacked and captured by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. During this period this fort became a military base for the Sikh army.
Later Durrani fort and this region was captured by the British with the help of Dogra King Gulab Singh. In 1846 Dogra king Gulab Singh bought Jammu and Kashmir for 75 lakhs from the British. This fort remained military base till 1947.
After the independence of India, this was left abandoned for many years. it was in 1983 that government decided to pay some to the attention it. The much-needed renovation work of this place, however, began in the year 2006.
There are some famous Muslim shrines in Hari Parbat that is held in high regard by people of all faiths and community. Some of the famous shrines are Shrine of Shah Badakhshi (spiritual Guru of Mughal Prince Dara Sikoh) and Hamza Makhdoom.
Gurdwara Chatti Patshahi
It is said that the sixth guru of Sikh faith stayed here when he was travelling through Kashmir. Later this gurudwara was built by the Sikh community to commemorate visit of sixth Sikh guru Shri Guru Har Gobind Singh Ji.
The magnificent state of J&K in home to beauty and splendour. One can never regret coming here. As we expected our trip to Hari Parbat was beautiful. There is so much to see, feel and explore in this picturesque town. Do visit this place, you’ll love it, we promise.